PC shipments in China have overtaken those in the US, making China the world’s largest market for desktop computers, laptops and notebooks, according to research firm, IDC.
The report found that 18.5 million units worth $11.9 billion shipped in China during the quarter, while 17.7 million units worth $11.7 billion shipped in the U.S. This means China made up 22% of the global PC market, compared to 21% for the US.
China’s place at the top will not last the whole, IDC predicts as the US will still ship more PCs over the full course of 2011, with holiday season purchases giving the US a boost in the fourth quarter. However, China will completely overtake the US in 2012, shipping 85.2 million PCs versus 76.6 million in the US, it says.
"China’s lead in the PC market is a huge shift that reflects the rising fortunes of emerging markets as well as the relative stagnation of more mature regions," said IDC analyst Loren Loverde.
Commenting on the future of the Chinese economy, IDC’s Kitty Fok said that while their are challenges to its continued growth, recent initiatives by the government are likely to keep it on track. "The Chinese government’s 12th Five-Year Plan should help large enterprises in various infrastructure verticals to continue to move along, not to mention of course the ongoing efforts to increase consumer penetration in lower-tier cities," she said.
Earlier this month, Gartner found that PC shipments in Western Europe dropped 19% in the second quarter of this year, and 15% in the UK. This was principally the result of reduced appetite among consumers to replace their existing PCs, but economic uncertainity is also dissuading businesses from investing in PCs, it found.